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+ servings

4-in-1 Shortbread Cookies

I've found the BEST buttery shortbread cookie recipe, and made it even better with 4 delicious flavor variations!
4 shortbread cookie variations on 1 tray
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote


Shortbread Cookies:

  • 1 ½ cup Salted Challenge Butter , at room temperature (3 sticks, 340 grams)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ¼ cup all-purpose flour (390 grams)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies:

  • ¼ cup chopped bittersweet or dark chocolate
  • ¼ teaspoon instant espresso powder

For Nutty Cinnamon Cookies:

  • ¼ cup chopped nuts , like pecans, walnuts, etc.
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

For White Chocolate and Toasted Coconut Cookies:

  • ¼ cup chopped white chocolate
  • ¼ cup toasted coconut

For Cranberry Orange Cookies:

  • ¼ cup chopped dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons candied orange peel

Optional Toppings:

  • Melted white or dark chocolate
  • Coarse sugar
  • Flaky salt


To Make the Shortbread Cookie Dough:

  • Beat butter until smooth and creamy, 2-3 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla, and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Stop and scrape down the bowl a few times as needed.
  • Add flour and salt and mix until dough comes together. It will be dry and shaggy but should hold together when pressed.

To Make Flavor Variations:

  • Divide shortbread dough into 4 bowls and add mix-ins to the bowls (see Notes).
  • Use your hands to work the mix-ins into the dough and press it together into a log about 4 inches wide. Wrap each in plastic wrap, using the plastic wrap if needed to encourage the dough together.
  • Chill in the fridge for 1 at least hour, and up to 1 week.

To Bake Cookies:

  • When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Use a sharp knife to slice cookie dough log into ¼-inch rounds. Place rounds on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake cookies until they appear dry and set, about 12-15 minutes. The bottoms should be lightly browned underneath (lift a test cookie with a spatula to check). For crisper cookies, bake until bottom edges appear lightly browned.
  • If adding coarse sugar or flaky salt, sprinkle over cookies when they are hot from the oven. Let cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • If adding melted white or dark chocolate, drizzle over the top of cooled cookies, or dip a corner of the cookie. Place on parchment or wax paper to set up.
  • The basic shortbread recipe is delicious if you don't want to try the variations.
  • Feel free to try all 4 flavor variations or just a few. The mix-in quantities above are intended to be combined with ¼ of the shortbread cookie dough. If you're not making all 4 variations, adjust quantities accordingly (double, quadruple, etc.).


Sodium: 67mg, Calcium: 8mg, Vitamin A: 177IU, Sugar: 6g, Fiber: 1g, Potassium: 24mg, Cholesterol: 15mg, Calories: 118kcal, Saturated Fat: 4g, Fat: 7g, Protein: 1g, Carbohydrates: 13g, Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?I’d love to hear about it! Leave a review below or take a photo and tag it on Instagram @completelydelicious with #completelydelicious.